Monday, December 21, 2015

The Short Days...

We're into the shortest days of the year, and not long until Christmas. That said, if you have weather in the 50's to nearly 60, you take it. The rides are a bit shorter than usual, but if you start by 3:30 or 3:45 in the afternoon here, you can get about 1 hour of riding. This time of year, you take it as a gift more than any other time.

This is the 1946 Hercules Royal Model C again. The Miller headlamp is working with two "D" batteries in it. It does not give off much light for seeing, but does help cars and other bicycles see you sooner than if you had nothing at all. It's a nice period piece that adds at least a little help at dusk.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Final Project of 2015

Over the past month or so, I re-built this 1946 Hercules Royal Model C.  The bicycle represents a "compact" style rod brake roadster. The bicycle is Hercules-made, but has a "Royal" decal on the head tube. It came with a Perry coaster brake dated 8-46. I replaced the single speed coaster with a Sturmey Archer TCW hub to make the bike a bit more ride-worthy. The rear brake is a coaster and the front is a rod/stirrup type.

I had a very nice Sturmey Archer quadrant shifter from the 1940s in my parts bin. This one appears to have been either never used, or only very slightly used. The rims are Dunlop Westwood rims that take the 26 x 1-3/8 (ISO 590) size tires. These are the usual, "English Sports Three Speed" sized tires. The frame is 21 inches, but more relaxed than a "Sports" roadster.

It features the "gallows" style seat post and "cut away" type lugs with oval holes. It has the "half chaincase" type chain guard. The gear ratio on this bike is 44 teeth in front and 21 in back.

The philosophy to this bike, like most of the others I have, is to make subtle upgrades to make the bike road-worthy while also keeping a deep respect to the history of the bike. The TCW hub is notorious for difficulties, but I completely overhauled this one into a steady-running state.
This bicycle has a number of the unique features that Birmingham-made bicycles had before they were merged into Raleigh/Nottingham production.